Recently, a veteran who thought he had lost his only friend has learned to give friendship another chance, thanks to the kindness of a couple strangers. When former combat medic Brian Gliba lost his PTSD service dog, Zeus, a void formed that he believed could not be filled. Two generous individuals managed to prove him wrong.
Zeus, a St. Bernard, entered Gliba’s life when he was needed the most. “I would sleep sometimes 18 to 20 hours a day,” Gliba said. “I was just miserable.” Gliba even contemplated suicide.
But Zeus changed all that, putting Gliba’s life back in perspective, making Gliba comfortable with the outside world again. “He was like true love,” Gliba said.
Gliba began to photograph other wounded vets who were coping with their transition back into the the civilian world, calling his new enterprise Project Wounded Ego. The point was to revive the confidence of wounded vets, similar to the way Zeus had revived Gliba’s confidence and willingness to live.
He took Zeus to any number of events, where he was lucky enough to meet many inspiring vets as well as famous athletes like the Colorado Rockies or the Atlanta Silverbacks.
When Zeus passed, the repercussions were felt by more than just Brian Gliba. So many people had known and loved Zeus. Below is a picture of Zeus with Gliba and Congressman Paul Broun of Georgia.
Gliba didn’t think there could ever be another dog like Zeus. That is, until he met his new service pup, Cleo.
When Tom Berger and Drew Austin of Minnesota learned of Gliba’s loss, they decided to gift a St. Bernard pup from a recent litter to Gliba. Tom and Drew favor St. Bernards, and had gifted other pups from previous litters to veterans in the past. Brian Gliba would be no exception.
“Honestly, I think it’s the perfect time and the perfect thing,” Gliba said. “I didn’t know if I was going to go back into this major depression where I’d stop talking to people again and go back to the crying mode, but, you know, if it wasn’t for [Tom and Drew] I probably would be there right now, still grieving and not functioning.”
You can learn more about their story in the video below, and see the meeting of Cleo and Gliba for yourself!